Yelsy

I met Yelsy after I had been assigned to La Masica on Honduras’ North Coast for two years upon completing Peace Corps Trainee training on May 15, 2009. She was in kindergarten, an abandoned child living with her great-grandmother in the tool shed of the elementary school where she was a student. Her abuela (grandma), an illiterate woman who did odd jobs for the owner of the house where I lived temporarily, wanted to pull her out of school. Please don’t, I pleaded, she makes excellent grades. She is a very bright child, I insisted. Yelsy would be graduating from kindergarten and asked me to be her Padrino. Yes, I said. Then I was transferred to La Paz after three months. I promised Yelsy and her grandma that I would help her with her school needs if she stayed in school and continued to make good grades. Yelsy has lived up to her end of the bargain. She is now 15 years old, in 9th grade in high school. All her grades have been above 90%. Next week is Day of the Student in Honduras. I am here in La Ceiba and will pick her up in the morning, along with two chaperones, and drive them to La Paz to meet Sister Edith and the children of the Hogar San Jose. There is a university near La Paz I want her to see. She would be welcome to live at the Children’s Home if she decides to pursue her education. The first chapter of my book, posted above, describes, in brief, my life in La Masica as a Peace Corps Volunteer in those early days.

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